Imagine an Inappropriate Sexual Comment …
Can you imagine a situation where a manager has too much to drink and somehow makes an inappropriate sexual comment or suggestion to an employee? And then being aware of the incident, other, more senior managers don’t do anything about it?
If you can imagine this, you can probably also imagine the frustrated employee turning around and suing your restaurant, and individual managers for inappropriate employee behavior.
It has happened before, and it can happen at your restaurant!
The legal threshold is whether the restaurant or managers knew (or reasonably should have known) the behavior was occurring, and failed to take appropriate corrective action. Restaurants who tolerate this kind of behavior are in a dangerous position.
It’s more than just money on the line. It’s also the restaurant’s reputation that’s at stake. There is no such thing as a good result from bad press concerning restaurant harassment.
Need for Formal Harassment Policy, Complaint Protocol, Restaurant Anti-Harassment Training, Strict Enforcement
The right preventive measure for your restaurant is to have a formal harassment policy, and regular training to help employees and managers recognize harassment and prepare to handle those situations effectively.
The policy should be documented in writing and included in the employee handbook. Once the policy is in place, it has to be consistently communicated and enforced – including following a protocol for handling any harassment complaints.
Note that when a restaurant is sued, it needs to be able to document that the restaurant had a written policy, restaurant anti-harassment training, and a complaint-handling protocol in place – and be able to prove that this policy is well communicated and understood by all employees and managers, and strictly enforced.
It is an understatement that the general manager is responsible for ensuring the safety of the staff. So if an employee reports an occurrence of inappropriate staff behavior – and then that complaint is presented to management, and a manager says something like “Oh well, Steve was just being Steve – and everybody knows he didn’t mean to offend.” Everybody in the organization needs to know that that is not an acceptable response to the situation.
Every restaurant needs to have a set protocol to handle all situations like this, including a documented complaint communication procedure, a process for how the complaint credibility investigation will be conducted, a prepared notice to the person who is being accused, and an opportunity for the accused to present his or her side of the story.
In order to avoid lawsuits, it is also important for the restaurant to be consistent with disciplinary protocols and enforce the appropriate consequence if in fact the alleged behavior really happened.
Restaurant Anti-Harassment Training
Harassment can be based on a variety of factors that differ from the one doing the harassment, such as race, sex, and disability. Experiencing uncomfortable situations in the workplace may be more than an offense against an individual. It can be a crime committed against the law, which is why this topic has become a very important for every organization.
The Workplace Harassment workshop will help give participants the tools necessary to recognize harassment in the workplace as well understand your rights and responsibilities under the law, with regard to safety in the workplace. Through this workshop your participants will recognize that it is necessary for everyone to help create programs that teach employees to identify harassment and exercise anti-harassment policies.
Note: This course can be modified to subtract topics you don’t need, or add specific Company policies or procedures.
- Identify the words and actions that constitute harassment
- Understand what the law says about harassment
- Implement anti-harassment policies
- Educate employees and develop anti-harassment policies
- Discuss employer and employee’s rights and responsibilities
- Address accusations of harassment
- Apply proper mediation procedures
- Deal with the aftermath of harassment
- Housekeeping Items
- The Parking Lot
- Workshop Objectives
Module Two: The Background
- The Law
- Identifying Harassment
- Anti-Harassment Policies
Module Three: Developing an Anti-Harassment Policy
- An Anti-Harassment Policy: What Should Be Covered
- How Model Policies Work
- Steps to a Healthy Work Place
- Educating Employees
Module Four: Restaurant Policy Statements
- Anti-Harassment Policy Statements
- Employee’s Rights and Responsibilities
- Employer’s Rights and Responsibilities
Module Five: Proper Restaurant Procedures
- If You are Being Harassed
- If You are Accused of Harassing
- The Investigation
Module Six: False Allegations
- How to Address the Situation
- Monitoring the Situation
Module Seven: Other Options
- Union Grievance Procedures
- Mediation: Getting Help from Outside Organization
Module Eight: Sexual Harassment
- Defining Sexual Harassment
- Elements of Harassment
- Common Scenarios
Module Nine: Mediation
- What is Mediation
- Deciding if it is Right
- How to Implement
Module Ten: Conflict Resolution
- How to Resolve the Situation
- Seeing Both Sides
- Deciding the Consequence
Module Eleven: The Aftermath
- How to Move On
- Monitoring the Situation
- Learning from Mistakes
Module Twelve: Wrapping Up
- Words from the Wise
- Review of Parking Lot
- Lessons Learned
- Completion of Action Plans and Evaluations
Note: This course can be modified to subtract topics you don’t need, or add specific Restaurant policies or procedures.
For more information, or to review this course online, contact Dupont Learning at 203-272-8511 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org